Adam Davidson

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This week, the Senate Judiciary Committee will consider a plan to overhaul the nation's immigration system. Much of the debate about immigration boils down to a simple economic question: Do immigrants hurt or help those of us who are already here?

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Three hundred eighty five thousand Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week. That number, announced today by the Labor Department as it is every week, and the number is up, an increase of 28,000 people.

One jobs number gets all the attention: The number of jobs lost or gained in the previous month.

That number is important. But focusing too much on the net change in jobs can be misleading. It gives the impression that a job is like a widget — it's something that gets made in a factory somewhere, and that we hope exists forever.

That's not how it works. Even in good economic times ,new jobs are constantly being created and old jobs are constantly being destroyed. (Of course, you do want the number of jobs created to exceed the number of jobs destroyed.)

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From today's buying spree on Wall Street, we turn to another mainstay of the economy, a process that happens every week and gets much less attention. I'm talking about Treasury bond auctions.

Peter Frew is one of a tiny number of people left in the United States who can — entirely on his own, using almost no machinery — make a classic bespoke suit. He can measure you, draw a pattern, cut the fabric and then hand-stitch a suit designed to fit your body perfectly.

Frew spent more than a decade as an apprentice for a remarkable tailor in his native Jamaica. He now sells his suits for about $4,000. Since New York is filled with very rich people who see their suits as an essential uniform, Frew has all the orders he can handle.

Every day at 11 a.m., a few big banks tell the British Bankers' Association what it costs them to borrow. Out of that comes LIBOR — the London Interbank Offered Rate, a dull but vital interest rate that underpins trillions of dollars of transactions globally, from home mortgages and personal credit cards to major corporate lending.

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